Nanoco and Plessey partner to shrink full-colour microLED pixels by 87% using quantum dots

Jan. 7, 2019

MANCHESTER, UK & CONCORD, Mass. USA, January 3, 2019: Plessey Semiconductors and Nanoco Technologies today announced a partnership to shrink the pixel size of monolithic microLED displays using Nanoco’s cadmium free quantum dot (CFQD® quantum dots) semiconductor nanoparticle technology. Using its existing monolithic process, Plessey will integrate the Nanoco CFQD® quantum dots into selected regions of blue LED wafers to add red and green light. This shrinks the smallest practical pixel size from today’s 30µm to just 4µm, a reduction of 87%. The process will enable the production of smaller, higher-resolution, microLED displays in applications such as AR/VR devices, watches, and mobile devices, while enhancing both colour rendition and energy efficiency.

For pixels of 30µm or greater, colour conversion is currently performed by adding phosphors to the blue die. However, since the smallest phosphor particle is around 30µm, the efficiency of colour conversion deteriorates as the pixel size shrinks. Nanoco’s CFQD® quantum dot technology overcomes this limitation while facilitating efficient, compact device packaging.

“Quantum dots offer the best solution for today’s emerging display requirements. The nano-sized emitters with narrow band emission make them a suitable solution for Plessey’s microLED display roadmap, which will see pixels being driven down to 4µm in size by 2019,” said Mike Lee, President of Corporate and Business Development at Plessey.

Dr. Brian Gally, Nanoco’s Head of Product commented: “We are thrilled to be working in close collaboration with Plessey, who lead the global field in the development and production of mircroLED arrays.  The combination of Plessey’s blue microLEDs with Nanoco’s red and green cadmium free quantum dots gives display customers the performance they require to rapidly commercialise products.”

Compared with all other display technologies, microLEDs are brighter, smaller, lighter, more energy-efficient and have a longer operating life. Where they replace OLEDs, for example in AR/VR goggles or head-up displays, Plessey microLEDs offer ten times the resolution, 100 times the contrast ratio, and up to 1,000 times the luminance. They do so at half the power consumption, doubling battery life in portable devices. They also feature perfect blacks, realistic colour, and immunity to burn-in or decay over time.


Plessey was recently named as a ‘CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree.’ The company will be showcasing its microLED technology at the event in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 1, stand 22048.


Visitors can schedule a demo or meeting at CES, held in Las Vegas between the 8th and 11th of January, email [email protected]

About Plessey

Plessey is a UK-based leading developer of advanced optoelectronic technologies. The company provides volume processing of its unique and proprietary GaN-on-silicon platform for a wide range of optoelectronic devices and systems.

With headquarters located in Plymouth, England, Plessey operates leading-edge 150mm and 200mm wafer processing facilities to undertake design, test and assembly of products, and a comprehensive suite of photonic characterization and applications laboratories.

Plessey is an award-winning provider of innovative illuminators for display engines (DMD and LCOS) and full-field emissive microLED displays that combine very high-density RGB pixel arrays with high-performance CMOS backplanes to produce very high-brightness, low-power and high-frame-rate image sources for head-mounted displays (HMDs), and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems.

For further information and datasheets, please visit or
email [email protected]. You can also follow Plessey on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

 About Nanoco Group plc

Nanoco harnesses the power of advanced nano-materials by producing innovative quantum dots to create a brighter, more sustainable future. Based on breakthrough science, Nanoco's CFQD® quantum dots are free of cadmium and can be tuned to absorb and emit light at different wavelengths across the visible and infrared spectrum, rendering them useful for a wide range of commercial applications including displays, lighting, sensors and biological imaging.

Nanoco has licensed its technology to The Dow Chemical Company, Merck KGaA of Germany and Wah Hong Industrial Corporation of Taiwan for use in display applications.

Nanoco was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Manchester, UK, with a US subsidiary, Nanoco Inc., in Concord, MA. Nanoco continues to build out a world-class, patent-protected IP portfolio generated by its innovation engine.

Nanoco is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange and trades under the ticker symbol NANO. To learn more, visit:

 Contact for editorial information

Nayl D’Souza, Account Director, Publitek

Tel: +44 (0)20 3813 6423

Email: [email protected]

Contact for Nanoco company information

Colleen Irish

Tel: +1 617-842-1511

Email: [email protected]


Contact for Plessey company information

Sam Langridge, Marketing Manager

Email: [email protected]